Sales from delivery and takeaway were 346% higher in March this year than the same month in 2019, according to CGA’s latest Hospitality at Home Tracker.

As consumers filled the void left by the closure of restaurants, pubs and bars for dining and drinking-in, delivery and takeaway sales have crept up since the beginning of the year, with the number of orders in March up 9% on February figures.

CGA said that while orders are expected to reduce as hospitality venues start to reopen, it is likely that with the surge in engagement with the at-home market, sales numbers will continue to run well ahead of levels seen before the pandemic.

“Consumers who have been kept at home for so long have embraced hospitality at home to make up for lost eating and drinking out experiences, and orders have been a lifeline for many brands while their venues are shut,” said Karl Chessell, CGA’s business unit director - hospitality operators and food, EMEA.

“The big question now is the extent to which habits of lockdown have become engrained in consumers’ behaviour, as venues re-open and they start to return to eating and drinking out. For all brands, understanding the balance between out-of-home and at-home preferences, and adjusting marketing and operational activity accordingly, is going to be a key consideration in the months ahead.”

Figures published by CGA yesterday (15 April), showed that licensed premises in England enjoyed a reopening bounce on Monday, with preliminary analysis showing like-for-like sales up 58.6%, compared to the same Monday in 2019.

CGA reported that the uplift was driven heavily by drinks sales, which were up 113.8%, while food was down 11.7%.